The Annoyance Factor or... Stress-Free Creative Freedom

 It’s a funny thing: For most people, if you mention watercolor painting it evokes images of a bright sunny day, an artist sitting at their easel, lost in the beauty of the scene and the creativity of painting.

The reality is often far from the popular image…

Of all of the various styles of painting, watercolor painting is probably has the most anxiety associated with it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just sit down, dip your brush into the paint and begin? 

But it doesn’t work that way.

The biggest problem is that the paper needs to be “prepared” before you can paint on it, because it has a strong tendency to buckle and curl if you apply water (or paint) to the surface. 

This preparation involves wetting and “stretching” the paper, which is nothing more than soaking it in a basin of water and then struggling to keep it flat as it warps and buckles. The best that can usually be achieved is to flatten it out as best you can with the palm of your hand, and then pinning or taping it down to a flat sheet of plywood that you had to buy at the local lumber yard and have cut to size. This board then serves as the platform that stands up on the easel before you can begin painting.

However, you start painting with the knowledge that if any part of the work does not satisfy your standards, the only real “solution” is to toss out that wasted work and steel yourself to start all over again with the preparation, the pinning, etc. Attempting to "lift" out the pigment fails, because it is nearly impossible to correct anything on the paper without causing some damage to the paper itself, which results in the altered part of the paper taking the paint unlike the rest of the painting and ruining the overall effect.

When I invented the Encore WaterMedia Art Board, I did it simply for my own convenience. With Encore, all of the problems associated with watercolor painting simply go away, along with all the tension and exasperation. While it is true that painting with Encore results in a somewhat different “look” than standard watercolor, the overall appearance is quite pleasant to the eye, and the ability to change anything at any time is a wonderfully freeing experience.

Because the surface is sensitive to the oil from fingers, it’s a good idea to wipe the surface off with a damp microfiber cloth before painting. Aside from that, there is zero preparation. Encore is pre-mounted on its’ own backing, with a white, textured surface that is immediately ready to paint on with zero warping and curling. You don’t really need an easel, as it stands up against just about any backing that you provide, such as a stack of books, etc. 

When you combine the various effects that can only be achieved using Encore and the greatly reduced need for pre-planning (more on this in our next blog), you’ll quickly realize that you now have the gift of stress-free creative freedom

Finally, you are able to fully relax and enjoy your hobby!

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